Media Advisories

Event & livestream tomorrow: DR Congo's CENCO Agreement: A Foundation for Real Political Transition?

Date: 
Jan 17, 2017

 

On Wednesday, January 18, the Enough Project and the Atlantic Council will host, “DRC's CENCO Agreement: A Foundation for Real Political Transition?” in Washington, DC.

Speakers will discuss the ongoing political situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the wake of the December 31 deal between the country’s political opposition and President Joseph Kabila, who failed to respect the constitutionally-mandated end of his term in office on December 19. The discussion will provide an update on the unfolding situation in the country and how the US and Europe can best support the political transition.

For media unable to attend, the presentation will be simulcast on livestream video here. For event details, click here.

Speakers:

  • Dr. Pierre Englebert, H. Russell Smith Professor of International Relations and Professor of African Politics, Pomona College
  • Sasha Lezhnev, Associate Director of Policy, Enough Project
  • Dr. J. Peter Pham, Director, Africa Center; Vice President, Atlantic Council

Moderated by:

  • Bronwyn Bruton, Director, Africa Center Research and Programs; Deputy Director, Africa Center, Atlantic Council

DATE/TIME: Wednesday, January 18, 2017 | 10:00 a.m. EST

LIVESTREAM: Click here to watch the livestream.

LOCATION: Atlantic Council, 1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor, Washington, DC 20005

FOR MEDIA: For media planning to attend the event in person, please email: press@enoughproject.org. For media inquiries and interview requests, please contact: Greg Hittelman, Director of Communications, +1 310 717 0606gh@enoughproject.org.

About THE ENOUGH PROJECT

The Enough Project, an atrocity prevention policy group, seeks to build leverage for peace and justice in Africa by helping to create real consequences for the perpetrators and facilitators of genocide and other mass atrocities. Enough aims to counter rights-abusing armed groups and violent kleptocratic regimes that are fueled by grand corruption, transnational crime and terror, and the pillaging and trafficking of minerals, ivory, diamonds, and other natural resources. Enough conducts field research in conflict zones, develops and advocates for policy recommendations, supports social movements in affected countries, and mobilizes public campaigns. Learn more – and join us – at www.EnoughProject.org.

Congo President Kabila Fails to Agree to Democratic Transition

Date: 
Dec 19, 2016

 

Grave concerns about worsening crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo, as Kabila fails to hold elections or come to agreement with opposition. He suddenly names new government, and his last legal term ended at midnight Kinshasa time. 

December 19, 2016 - 6:45pm EST (Washington, DC) –

The Democratic Republic of Congo’s President Joseph Kabila has failed to agree to a democratic transition with the country's political opposition. After the Congolese government failed to hold scheduled elections on November 19, tonight at midnight marks the end of Kabila's second and last legally sanctioned term as the country's president, according to Congo's constitution. Five minutes before midnight on national television, Kabila announced a new government under Prime Minister Samy Badibanga, despite the lack of a political agreement with the opposition.

Civil society groups have organized numerous public demonstrations demanding President Kabila respect the constitution and help prepare for the democratic election of his successor. Many of those demonstrations have been met with brutal crackdowns by police and military forces. The government has blocked nearly all access to social media today, and at least two prominent activists are missing. There have been over 40 arrests reported today. 

Enough Project experts are available for comment and analysis.

Holly Dranginis, Senior Policy Analyst at the Enough Project, said: “The Congolese people have already endured untold repression in the weeks and months leading up to this flashpoint, especially those calling for a democratic transition of power. Today marks Kabila’s admission into a dangerous category of leaders who gain power by force, not by democratic process or respect for their people. Last week, the EU and US sent a strong message of warning by issuing sanctions, but today there is repression in the streets. The international community needs to enforce sanctions with vigilance and rigor, and above all, support the Congolese people as they fight for their right to vote in a new leader.”

Sasha Lezhnev, Associate Director of Policy at the Enough Project, said: "Today is a turning point for Congo. Without a deal for a democratic transition, President Kabila should announce that he will not run in the next elections. That would help calm the major tensions. If not, the U.S. and Europe should ratchet up the financial pressure through sanctions on high-level advisors and anti-money laundering actions."

John Prendergast, Founding Director at the Enough Project, said: "Clearly, President Kabila is not willing to relinquish power, and appears to be insisting on running for a third term whenever elections actually are held. The kleptocracy he has overseen is too lucrative to let go of, and so he will try to stay, even if it means the country catches fire around him."

Since as early as January 2015, Congolese people have taken to the streets and launched other advocacy efforts to express their support for a peaceful, timely presidential transition. Crackdowns on peaceful protesters, opposition leaders, and youth activists related to elections have been consistent since January 2015 when 36 were killed in a demonstration in Kinshasa and four in Goma. More recently, the week of September 19th44 people were killed and dozens arrested.

Last week, in an effort to promote restraint by security forces and show support for democracy, the European Union imposed targeted sanctions on seven individuals, for “holding positions of authority…over the Congolese security forces which have exercised a disproportionate use of force.” The United States also placed sanctions on two high-level Congolese officials last week, Evariste Boshab and Kalev Mutondo, bringing the total to five this year. 

For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact:
Greg Hittelman, Director of Communications, +1 310 717 0606gh@enoughproject.org.

About THE ENOUGH PROJECT
The Enough Project, an atrocity prevention policy group, seeks to build leverage for peace and justice in Africa by helping to create real consequences for the perpetrators and facilitators of genocide and other mass atrocities. Enough aims to counter rights-abusing armed groups and violent kleptocratic regimes that are fueled by grand corruption, transnational crime and terror, and the pillaging and trafficking of minerals, ivory, diamonds, and other natural resources. Enough conducts field research in conflict zones, develops and advocates for policy recommendations, supports social movements in affected countries, and mobilizes public campaigns. Learn more – and join us – at www.EnoughProject.org.

NY Times Reports Suspicious Congo Transactions of $95.7 million; Treasury Department Should Alert Banks

Date: 
Dec 18, 2016
Author: 
Enough Team

Enough Project calls on the U.S. Treasury Department, European governments to work with financial institutions to address news reports of suspicious transactions in the Democratic Republic of Congo 

In an article published today, the New York Times reported that some senior officials in the Congolese government have been involved in a series of suspicious bank transfers. The article also discusses $95.7 million in irregular “tax advances” from the state-owned mining company Gécamines to the country’s central bank. Documents provided by the Times and verified by The Sentry show that these transactions were denominated in U.S. dollars. President Joseph Kabila appoints the directors of Gécamines. It also reported the suspicions voiced by several government officials that that family members of President Kabila have been involved in suspicious cash transactions. This news comes amidst a deteriorating political crisis in which elections have been postponed by 17 months and repression has risen against democratic protestors and the media. More details regarding these transactions are found in the New York Times story, which quotes a representative of the Enough Project.

Sasha Lezhnev, Associate Director of Policy at the Enough Project, said: “It appears from the Times’ reporting that the U.S. financial system may be being used by corrupt elites in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The U.S. Treasury Department should employ the types of financial tools used to combat terrorism and nuclear proliferation to safeguard the U.S. financial system. A FinCEN advisory would make it much more difficult for corrupt officials to wire money through the international financial system.”

The transactions included an $8 million order for tax advances to be paid in cash from the mining company to a bank. According to documents viewed by The Sentry, this bank was BGFI DRC. According to Bloomberg, BGFI DRC is controlled by the president’s brother and sister. If, as it appears, that the transactions described in the article were conducted in U.S. dollars, some of them therefore may have passed through the U.S. financial system. This would provide the U.S. government with an opportunity to thoroughly examine the transactions that took place and take action to prevent abuse of the U.S. financial system.

In the Times article, Lambert Mende, Congo’s Minister of Communications, asserted that Kabila was “not a robber, not at all,” and added, “He has no account in Europe or the USA. He doesn’t have a single apartment outside of Congo. This is all storytelling.”

The transactions reported by the Times have taken place against a backdrop of large-scale poverty in Congo, as the economic situation continues to deteriorate for average Congolese citizens. The Congolese Franc has lost 27% of its value in 2016; inflation has increased to nearly 6%; Central Bank foreign exchange reserves have decreased by nearly half (45%) over the past two years; and the price of some foodstuffs is up as high as 80%. The Congolese government is also slashing state services, with budget cuts of 22% and a further 14%, including a 90% cut in spending on healthcare equipment.   

The Congolese government has also delayed elections scheduled by the constitution for November 19, 2016, until April 2018, and its security forces killed at least 56 protestors in pro-democracy rallies in September. The government has also cracked down on independent media, cutting the signals of Radio France International and UN-supported Radio Okapi and several others. President Kabila is supposed to hand over power on December 19, 2016, according to Congo’s constitution.

John Prendergast, Founding Director at the Enough Project, said: “While Congo’s elites continue to benefit and profit from a violent kleptocratic system and undermine democratic processes and institutions, the Congolese people are bearing the brunt. The United States and Europe should impose appropriate, higher-level targeted sanctions now in a last-ditch effort to prevent an escalation of violence ahead of December 19.”

Holly Dranginis, Senior Policy Analyst at the Enough Project, said: “The Times article is in line with our conclusion, based on our own analysis of the situation, that, instead of using Congo’s vast resource wealth to provide social services, fund elections, and improve the livelihoods of citizens, the Kabila regime has pursuedtwo narrow, self-serving objectives: lining the pockets of the president’s inner circle and retaining power at all costs.”

The Enough Project recommends that the United States and Europe take four main policy steps in order to to negotiate a successful democratic transition. That process should include the holding of elections in 2017, Kabila’s handing over of power, and the dropping of charges against democracy activists and opposition candidates.

  1. Anti-money laundering measures: 314(a). The U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) should begin to assess suspicious financial activities connected to the Kabila regime and key elites by issuing a request to financial institutions pursuant to Section 314(a) of the Patriot Act. Financial intelligence units in Belgium, the UK, and France should use their authorities to take similar steps. The request would demand vigilance and lead to more vigorous reporting of suspicious activity regarding the possible flow of the proceeds of corruption through the U.S. financial system. This would not cut off the general Congolese population from the banking system but rather be directed against a specific list of individuals and entities.

  2. Enhanced and robustly enforced targeted sanctions on higher-level decision makers found responsible for violence and corruption. The U.S. should designate a short list of high-level financial, political, and military advisors with strong influence on President Kabila and who have significant financial assets that can be impacted by a designation. The designation of three Congolese generals during the course of 2016 has been a good start but will prove insufficient to change the DRC government’s stance on elections unless higher-level targets are designated. Congolese civil society supports additional designations.

  3. Direct engagement with correspondent banks. Treasury and State Department officials should meet with the U.S. and European correspondent banks that do significant business with banks in Congo that may have facilitated suspicious money transfers, as well as with key regional bodies. By raising concerns with individual banks, the correspondent banks could cut off from the international financial system the entities in Congo posing the highest risks.

  4. Improving transparency: Pressing for an audit of the state-owned copper and cobalt company. The United States, Belgium, the United Kingdom, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), and mining companies investing in Congo should strongly encourage President Kabila to require that the state-owned company Gécamines should publish detailed annual financial statements and have an independent, third-party audit conducted and published.

 

As Congo Heads into Crucial Week, U.S., E.U., Place Sanctions on More High-Level Officials

Date: 
Dec 12, 2016

 

Amidst escalating election crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo, US, EU sanctions signal “enough is enough”

Washington, DC -- Today, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) placed Évariste Boshab, Vice Prime Minister and Interior Minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Kalev Mutond, Director of the country’s National Intelligence Agency (ANR) on its Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) List. Further, the European Union placed targeted sanctions against seven senior security officers in Congo. The ANR has been known for using calculated intimidation tactics against civilians and committing serious human rights abuses, including arbitrary arrests and disappearances. Boshab is a key member of President Joseph Kabila's inner circle. 

Enough Project experts are available for comment and analysis.

Sasha Lezhnev, Associate Director of Policy at the Enough Project, said: “The sanctions are a critical step to protect human rights and prevent wider violence in Congo. The U.S. Treasury Department should follow suit by enacting anti-money laundering measures to help stop corrupt transactions from taking place in U.S. dollars.”

Holly Dranginis, Senior Policy Analyst at the Enough Project, said: “The United States is ratcheting up the pressure ahead of a flashpoint on December 19th, when Kabila is supposed to step down. This next round of US sanctions says 'enough is enough' to individuals in the government who have committed abuses with impunity for far too long. Instead of waiting for the crisis to explode or waiting for others to act, the US is using prevention strategies. It's a show of support for thousands of people in Congo who are putting their lives on the line to demand their right to a new elected leader.”

John Prendergast, Founding Director at the Enough Project, said: “Now is a crucial time to prevent violence in Congo. Today's sanctions announcements are key, but the financial pressure should be further escalated if the Congolese government does not ensure an effective democratic transition ahead of December 19."

According to the country's constitution, President Kabila is due to step down on December 19. However, the government-led electoral commission announced that the elections will be delayed, potentially until 2018. Congolese civilians have taken to streets demanding President Kabila step down and hold elections, citing sanctions in particular as a tool the international community can use to support democracy and mitigate violence.

Today's measure makes five OFAC designations in total on high-level Congolese officials this year. In July, the Treasury Department sanctioned General Célestin Kanyama, the Police Commissioner of Kinshasa and in late September, it sanctioned General Gabriel Amisi Kumba, aka "Tango Fort," head of the First National Defense Zone and Major General John Numbi Banza Tambo, former Inspector General of the National Police. 

Earlier today, the EU also imposed sanctions on seven high-level Congolese officials including: General Célestin Kanyama, General Gabriel Amisi, Major General John Numbi Banza Tambo, Ilunga Kampete, Commander of the Republican Guard; Ferdinand Ilunga Luyoyo, Commander of the Anti-Riot Unit of the National Police; Roger Kibelisa, Chief of Internal Security of the ANR; and Delphin Kaimbi, Chief of Military Intelligence.

For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact:
Greg Hittelman, Director of Communications, +1 310 717 0606gh@enoughproject.org.

About THE ENOUGH PROJECT
The Enough Project, an atrocity prevention policy group, seeks to build leverage for peace and justice in Africa by helping to create real consequences for the perpetrators and facilitators of genocide and other mass atrocities. Enough aims to counter rights-abusing armed groups and violent kleptocratic regimes that are fueled by grand corruption, transnational crime and terror, and the pillaging and trafficking of minerals, ivory, diamonds, and other natural resources. Enough conducts field research in conflict zones, develops and advocates for policy recommendations, supports social movements in affected countries, and mobilizes public campaigns. Learn more – and join us – at www.EnoughProject.org.

NGO Coalition Calls for Sanctions on Senior DR Congo Officials

Date: 
Dec 9, 2016

Washington, DC – The Enough Project along with a coalition of 72 Congolese and 14 international human rights organizations have called on the European Union and the United States to expand targeted sanctions against those most responsible for recent violent repression and other serious human rights violations in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Sasha Lezhnev, Associate Director of Policy at the Enough Project, said: "If the EU and US act now, they can help prevent widespread violence in Congo. They have leverage, as Congolese officials use US dollars and Euros to conduct suspicious transactions, and it is now time to use that leverage to prevent atrocities and promote democracy." 

Please see joint press release and the full list of signatories below.

For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact: Greg Hittelman, Director of Communications, +1 310 717 0606gh@enoughproject.org.

About THE ENOUGH PROJECT
The Enough Project, an atrocity prevention policy group, seeks to build leverage for peace and justice in Africa by helping to create real consequences for the perpetrators and facilitators of genocide and other mass atrocities. Enough aims to counter rights-abusing armed groups and violent kleptocratic regimes that are fueled by grand corruption, transnational crime and terror, and the pillaging and trafficking of minerals, ivory, diamonds, and other natural resources. Enough conducts field research in conflict zones, develops and advocates for policy recommendations, supports social movements in affected countries, and mobilizes public campaigns. Learn more – and join us – at www.EnoughProject.org.

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EU/US: Sanction Senior DR Congo Officials
Urgent Action Needed to Deter Large-Scale Violence, Repression 

(Kinshasa, December 9, 2016) – The European Union and United States should expand targeted sanctions against those most responsible for recent violent repression and other serious human rights violations in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a coalition of 72 Congolese and 15 international human rights organizations said today. 

Ten days before the December 19, 2016, deadline marking the end of President Joseph Kabila’s constitutionally mandated two-term limit, he still has not made any clear commitment on when or even if he will step down. At the same time, government repression against pro-democracy activists, the political opposition, largely peaceful protesters, and the media has intensified at an alarming rate.

“Imposing targeted sanctions on senior officials, especially before December 19, could help walk Congo back from the brink and deter further violent repression,” said Me Georges Kapiamba, president of the Congolese Association for Access to Justice (ACAJ). “Such action would show that with each passing day, the consequences for the government will be greater.” 

Opposition leaders and pro-democracy activists have called for Congolese to take to the streets if President Kabila stays in office beyond his mandate. Past protests suggest that they will be met by security forces quick to use excessive and lethal force. There are risks that political leaders could mobilize the dozens of armed groups active in eastern Congo for political ends, or that the country’s brittle security forces could fracture if Kabila relies on force to stay in power. This raises concerns that the country could descend into further repression or widespread violence and chaos, with potentially volatile repercussions across the region.

Earlier targeted sanctions imposed by the US on three security force officers at the forefront of violence against protesters had a notable deterrent effect and rattled those implicated, the organizations said. The US should impose targeted sanctions against more senior level officials. 

In October, the EU Foreign Ministers stated that the EU would “use all means at its disposal” against individuals responsible for serious human rights violations, who promote violence, or who “obstruct a consensual and peaceful solution to the crisis.” In November, the European Parliament passed a resolution calling on the EU to urgently implement targeted sanctions. The EU is due to discuss Congo and possibly move forward with targeted sanctions during its next Foreign Affairs Council meeting on December 12.

Such targeted sanctions could include travel bans, asset freezes, and the blocking of bank accounts and financial transactions linked to the individuals.

“President Kabila and Congolese officials need to be sent a strong message that violating the rights of the Congolese people is costly for those responsible,” said Ida Sawyer, senior Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch. “Acting now to help prevent the situation in Congo from spiraling out of control will be critical to stability, the rule of law, and respect for fundamental human rights in Congo and throughout the region.”

For more information, please contact:
In Brussels, for Human Rights Watch, Ida Sawyer (English, French): +1-917-213-0939 (mobile); or +243-99-86-75-565 (mobile); or sawyeri@hrw.org. Twitter: @ida_sawyer
In Kinshasa, for the Congolese Association for Access to Justice (ACAJ), Me Georges Kapiamba (French): +243-814043641; or kapiambag2@gmail.com. Twitter: @kapiambaGeorges
For FIDH and its member organizations in the DRC: presse@fidh.org  

In Brussels, for EurAc, Julie Capoulade, (English, French): +32-499-81-01-77 (mobile); or julie.capoulade@eurac-network.org. Twitter: @JulieCapoulade
In Washington, DC, for the Enough Project, Greg Hittelman (English): +1-310-717-0606; or gh@enoughproject.org.

Signatories:

International organizations

  1. Agir Ensemble pour les Droits de l'Homme (AEDH)
  2. Ecumenical Network Central Africa (OENZ)
  3. The Enough Project
  4. European Network for Central Africa (EurAc)
  5. Fédération internationale de l’Action des chrétiens pour l’abolition de la torture (FIACAT)
  6. Fédération internationale des ligues des droits de l’Homme (FIDH)
  7. Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  8. Global Witness
  9. Human Rights Watch
  10. Never Again Coalition
  11. PAX
  12. Protection International
  13. Reporters sans Frontières/Reporters Without Borders
  14. Save the Congo
  15. World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT)

Congolese organizations

  1. Action Chrétienne Contre la Torture (ACAT) – RDC
  2. Action d’Aide aux Survivants de la Torture (AAST/Relève)
  3. Action de Solidarité de Femmes pour la Femme et l’Enfant (ASOFFE) 
  4. Action pour la Bienveillance Humanitaire (AB/ Humanitaire)
  5. Action pour la Justice et le Développement (AJD)
  6. Action pour la Paix et la Protection de l'Enfant (APPE)
  7. Action pour la Protection des Droits Humains et de Développement Communautaire (APDHUD)
  8. Agir pour la Reconstruction de notre Espace et pour la Convivialité (AGIREC)
  9. Agir Rapidement pour la Femme (ARF)
  10. Association africaine de défense des droits de l’Homme (ASADHO)
  11. Association Congolaise pour l’Accès à la Justice (ACAJ)
  12. Association de défense des Droits de la Femme (ADDF)
  13. Association des Femmes Juristes Congolaises (AFEJUCO)
  14. Association des Femmes pour le Développement Communautaire (AFEMDECO)
  15. Association des Femmes pour le Développement Endogène Mboko/Fizi (AFDEM) 
  16. Association des Jeunes pour la Protection de l’Environnement Fizi (AJPEF)
  17. Association des Jeunes pour le Développement Intégral de Kalundu/Uvira (AJEDIK)
  18. Association pour le Développement des Initiatives Paysannes (ASSODIP)
  19. Association pour le Développement Intégral du Haut Plateau de Fizi (ADIPF)
  20. Association pour les Droits Humanitaires (ADH)
  21. Bureau de Promotion Socioculturelle (BUPSOC)
  22. Centre de Promotion Socio-Sanitaire (CEPROSSAN)
  23. Centre de Rééducation pour l’Enfance Délinquance et Défavorisée (CREDD)      
  24. Centre d'Observation des Droits de l'Homme et d'Assistance Sociale (CODHAS)
  25. Centre Indépendant de Recherches et d’Études Stratégiques au Kivu (CIRESKI)
  26. Centre International de Promotion et de Développement et des Droits de l'Homme (CEIPEDHO)
  27. Cercle international pour la Défense des Droits de l’Homme, la Paix et l’Environnement (CIDDHOPE)
  28. Cercle National de Réflexion sur la Jeunesse (CNRJ RDC)
  29. Comité de Coordination des Actions de Paix (CCAP)
  30. Commission Internationale en Formation des Droits de l’Homme (CIFDH)
  31. Convention pour le Respect des Droits de l’Homme (CRDH)
  32. Congrès pour le Renouveau Syndical (CORES)
  33. Debout Fille de Fizi (DFF)
  34. Femme en Danger (FED)
  35. Femme et Enfant en Détresse (SOS FED)
  36. Femme pour le Développement des Mutuelles de Solidarités à Fizi (FDMUSOF)
  37. Femme qui en Soulève une Autre (FESA)
  38. Femmes Engagées pour la Promotion de la Santé Intégrale (FEPSI)
  39. Femmes Juristes pour la défense des Droits de la Femme (FJDF)
  40. Fraternité des Prisons (FP)
  41. Genre pour l’Appui au Développement (GAD)
  42. Great Lakes Human Rights Program (GLHRP)
  43. Groupe d’Action Non-Violente Évangélique (GANVE)
  44. Groupe d’Associations de Défense des Droits de l’Homme et de Paix (GADHOP)
  45. Groupe Lotus (GL)
  46. Institut Africain de Formation en Droits Humains (INAFDH)
  47. Juriste en Action (JURAC)
  48. JUSTICIA Asbl
  49. Ligue contre la Fraude et la Corruption (LICOF)
  50. Ligue des Activistes des Droits de l'Homme (LADHO)
  51. Ligue des électeurs (LE)
  52. Ligue pour la Défense et la Vulgarisation des Droits Humains (LDVDH)
  53. Mama Tupendane (MT)
  54. Mama Tushirikiane (MATU)
  55. Maniema Libertés (MALI)
  56. Maniema Tuende Mbele (MTM)
  57. Mobilisation, Encadrement Écologie et Défense des Droits Humains par les Amis des Familles Démunies (MEEDAF)
  58. Œuvre Chrétienne pour la Femme (OCF)
  59. Organisation Communautaire pour la Conservation de la Nature (OCCN)
  60. Organisation de Paix pour les Opportunités et le Développement (OPOD)
  61. Organisation pour la Promotion et Protection des Droits Humains (OPPDH)
  62. Pax Christ Butembo   
  63. Psychologues sans Frontières (PSF)
  64. Relance pour la Fille de Sion (RFS)
  65. Réseau des Activistes des Droits Humains de Fizi
  66. Réseau des Communicateurs Humanitaires (RCH)
  67. Réseau des Parajuristes du Maniema (REPAJUMA)    
  68. Réseaux de Femmes pour le Développement de Jeunes d’Itombwe (RFDJI)
  69. Service Par, Pour et Avec les Femmes (SEPPAF)
  70. Solidarité des Associations Féminines pour les Droits de Femmes et de l’Enfant (SAFDF)
  71. Solidarité des Hommes pour la Protection et la Promotion des Femmes (SHPF)
  72. Wamama Tusimame (WATU)

“A Groundbreaking Achievement”: Congress Passes “Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act”

Date: 
Dec 8, 2016

 

Enough Project applauds historic, bipartisan effort to combat corruption, protect journalists, whistleblowers, and human rights defenders around the world

Washington, DC – Today, the United States Congress passed historic legislation empowering the U.S. government with the authority to place sanctions on corrupt public officials across the world who misappropriate state assets as well as anyone who attacks journalists and human rights defenders. 

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2017 passed in the Senate today, following passage in the House of Representatives last Friday. The NDAA includes a provision on human rights sanctions known as the “Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act.” Once signed into law, Global Magnitsky gives the President standing authority to impose sanctions on non-U.S. citizens guilty of corruption or gross human rights violations perpetrated against whistleblowers. Global Magnitsky also enhances congressional involvement in the designation of individuals to be investigated for human rights violations, and helps to ensure that U.S. financial institutions are not complicit in supporting those profiting off of atrocities.

The Global Magnitsky Act brings a unique focus to corruption and the illicit gain acquired through acts of corruption and especially with regard to those in government positions, those who are complicit in corrupt acts, and those who facilitate or transfer the proceeds of corruption to foreign jurisdictions.

The NDAA now heads to President Obama’s desk to be signed into law. 

Ian Schwab, Director of Advocacy and Impact Strategy at the Enough Project, said: “Passage of the Global Magnitsky Act demonstrates what is possible when members of both parties working together in the House and Senate identify a problem and put forward a constructive solution. Congress should use this legislation and the tools it provides to ensure that there are consequences for those leaders stealing from their own people and crushing dissent.”

J.R. Mailey, Senior Policy Analyst for Illicit Finance and Conflict at the Enough Project, said: “Journalists and civil society activists around the world are on the front lines of the fight against corruption, oppression, and human rights violations. This puts many courageous reporters and activists directly in harm's way, as many who seek to expose corruption or government abuses are subject to harassment, intimidation and violence. Such abuse continues, in part, because the officials responsible for attacks on civil society and the press believe they will suffer no consequences. The passage of the Global Magnitsky Act will help change the equation.”

Rachel Finn, Advocacy Manager at the Enough Project, said: “The Global Magnitsky Act is a groundbreaking achievement in the realm of atrocity prevention. Not only does it make explicit the critical nexus between corruption and human rights abuses around the globe, but this bipartisan initiative also establishes a foundational framework through which real action can be taken against perpetrators and enablers of some of the worst crimes known to humanity. We are grateful to the ongoing work of Senators Cardin (D-MD) and McCain (R-AZ), Representatives Smith (R-NJ) and McGovern (D-MA), and each chamber's Armed Services and Foreign Relations Committees for their tireless efforts ensuring the U.S. Government has the tools necessary to focus on human rights and peace internationally.”

For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact: Greg Hittelman, Director of Communications, +1 310 717 0606gh@enoughproject.org.

About THE ENOUGH PROJECT
The Enough Project, an atrocity prevention policy group, seeks to build leverage for peace and justice in Africa by helping to create real consequences for the perpetrators and facilitators of genocide and other mass atrocities. Enough aims to counter rights-abusing armed groups and violent kleptocratic regimes that are fueled by grand corruption, transnational crime and terror, and the pillaging and trafficking of minerals, ivory, diamonds, and other natural resources. Enough conducts field research in conflict zones, develops and advocates for policy recommendations, supports social movements in affected countries, and mobilizes public campaigns. Learn more – and join us – at www.EnoughProject.org.

Enough’s Lezhnev to Congress: US has Leverage to Prevent Further Crisis in Congo

Date: 
Nov 29, 2016

 

In a hearing before the U.S. Congress’ Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission today on “Democracy and Human Rights in the Democratic Republic of Congo,” Sasha Lezhnev, Associate Director of Policy at the Enough Project, presented testimony on strategies to avoid a violent crisis in the Congo, in particular through the use of greater U.S. financial pressure to create leverage in support of a democratic transition process. He testified alongside Congolese LUCHA human rights activist Fred Bauma, U.S. Special Envoy Tom Perriello, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor Tom Malinowski, Ida Sawyer of Human Rights Watch, and professional lecturer Mvemba Dizolele. 

Lezhnev put forth a three-part strategy for the U.S. government:

  1. Financial pressure through anti-money laundering measures
  2. Political and financial pressure through enhanced targeted sanctions
  3. Appointing a new U.S. Special Envoy

 

Selected excerpts from official testimony to the Commission by Sasha Lezhnev:

  • “President Joseph Kabila’s attempt to hold on to power risks taking Congo back 15 years to mass violence and absence of the rule of law. On the other hand, a successful democratic transition would help move the rule of law forward, increase security across the country, including in conflict-ridden eastern Congo, and lay the foundation for responsible businesses to invest.”
     
  • “The key to changing this equation, preventing a wider violent crisis, and starting the process of reform away from violent kleptocracy is to impose serious consequences on the leaders and their business partners who profit most from violence, illicit resource extraction, theft, and undermining democracy.”
     
  • “The United States has an opportunity now to be on the right side of what has been an all-too-often bloody history in Congo. With the right combination of financial pressure and diplomacy, it can work with the Congolese people and help them have their first ever peaceful transfer of power and prevent a violent crisis that would risk breaking the Great Lakes of Africa apart again, costing thousands of lives, subverting the will of Congo’s citizens, creating a terrible investment climate, and costing hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to respond.”

Key recommendations in Lezhnev’s testimony:

  • Congress should urge the U.S. Treasury Department to take measures to counter money laundering activities that transit from banks in Congo to the international financial system, together with key European governments, particularly Belgium and the UK.
     
  • The U.S. government should designate a short list of high-level officials and advisors with strong influence on President Kabila.
     
  • Looking forward, Congress should urge the Trump administration to issue a new U.S. Executive Order on Congo that expressly includes corruption as a reason to place targeted sanctions on individuals in Congo.
     
  • It is imperative that the Trump administration continues the special envoy position and appoints a new person to the job as soon as it begins. The United States has been the leader on international policy on Congo, as Europe has been too slow. Without an envoy, Kabila will take advantage of the U.S. policy gap, and move ahead rapidly to subvert democracy and put the country at major risk. 

 

Click here to read details on the recommendations and the full testimony of Sasha Lezhnev: http://eno.ug/2gFt905  

Hearing video: https://humanrightscommission.house.gov/events/hearings/democracy-and-human-rights-democratic-republic-congo

For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact: Greg Hittelman, Director of Communications, +1 310 717 0606gh@enoughproject.org.

About THE ENOUGH PROJECT
The Enough Project, an atrocity prevention policy group, seeks to build leverage for peace and justice in Africa by helping to create real consequences for the perpetrators and facilitators of genocide and other mass atrocities. Enough aims to counter rights-abusing armed groups and violent kleptocratic regimes that are fueled by grand corruption, transnational crime and terror, and the pillaging and trafficking of minerals, ivory, diamonds, and other natural resources. Enough conducts field research in conflict zones, develops and advocates for policy recommendations, supports social movements in affected countries, and mobilizes public campaigns. Learn more – and join us – at www.EnoughProject.org.

Enough’s Lezhnev to Testify in Congress on Preventing Violence through Financial Pressure in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Date: 
Nov 28, 2016

 

TomorrowNovember 29, Sasha Lezhnev, Associate Director of Policy at the Enough Project, will testify alongside a distinguished panel of senior U.S. officials and Congolese and international activists before the U.S. Congress’ Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission hearing on “Democracy and Human Rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.” 

Lezhnev, author of the recent Enough Project report “A Criminal State: Understanding and countering institutionalized corruption and violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo,” will present testimony on strategies to avoid a much more violent crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo, in particular through the use of greater U.S. financial pressure to leverage a successful democratic transition process. 

For press unable to attend the hearing will be available for viewing on livestream.

When: Tuesday, November 29, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. EST

Where: Room 2255, Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC. Click here for details.

Livestreamhttps://humanrightscommission.house.gov/  

Witnesses:

Panel I

  • Tom Perriello, Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region of Africa, U.S. Department of State
  • Tom Malinowski, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, U.S. Department of State

Panel II

  • Ida Sawyer, Senior Researcher, Human Rights Watch 
  • Fred Bauma, LUCHA
  • Sasha Lezhnev, Associate Director of Policy, Enough Project
  • Mvemba Phezo Dizolele, Professorial Lecturer, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies  

Hearing details: https://humanrightscommission.house.gov/events/hearings/democracy-and-human-rights-democratic-republic-congo

Interview availability: Mr. Lezhnev will be available for selected media interviews following the hearing. For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact: Greg Hittelman, Director of Communications, +1 310 717 0606gh@enoughproject.org.

About THE ENOUGH PROJECT
The Enough Project, an atrocity prevention policy group, seeks to build leverage for peace and justice in Africa by helping to create real consequences for the perpetrators and facilitators of genocide and other mass atrocities. Enough aims to counter rights-abusing armed groups and violent kleptocratic regimes that are fueled by grand corruption, transnational crime and terror, and the pillaging and trafficking of minerals, ivory, diamonds, and other natural resources. Enough conducts field research in conflict zones, develops and advocates for policy recommendations, supports social movements in affected countries, and mobilizes public campaigns. Learn more – and join us – at www.EnoughProject.org.

U.S. to Introduce UN Security Council Resolution for Targeted Sanctions, Arms Embargo on South Sudan

Date: 
Nov 17, 2016

 

As threat of genocide looms, Enough Project lauds urgently-needed step, calls for swift adoption

Today, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power announced that the U.S. will introduce a resolution in the U.N. Security Council for targeted sanctions and an arms embargo for South Sudan. The Enough Project urges U.N. Security Council members to support the resolution to address the crisis in South Sudan. 

John Prendergast, Founding Director at the Enough Project, said: “South Sudan faces the very real threat of genocide. It is critical that the U.N. Security Council not stand idly by while the crisis intensifies. A resolution by the United States will be a critical first step to demonstrating that the international community will create significant consequences for the commission of mass atrocities.”

Prendergast added, "Every genocide early warning system is flashing red in South Sudan today. All of the classic elements are present for mass atrocities to unfold, and when atrocities are targeted at specific communities on the basis of their identity, that is genocide. The UN Security Council has the tools to bring pressure to bear on those that would consider using mass atrocities to maintain or gain power. In the 21st century, we need to draw a line in the sand and say that genocidal action will not be allowed to occur without a significant consequence."

  • U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and U.N. Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide Adama Dieng have both warned in recent days of the threat of genocide in South Sudan.
  • Many South Sudanese people and U.N. officials have called repeatedly for an arms embargo.
  • More than 2.8 million people have been displaced in South Sudan since conflict began in December 2013.
Read the September 2015 investigative report from The Sentry providing evidence of high-level corruption linked to individuals named in U.N. Security Council reporting for their responsibility for conflict and atrocities: https://thesentry.org/reports/warcrimesshouldntpay/

Enough Project experts are available for comment and analysis.

For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact:

Greg Hittelman, Director of Communications, +1 310 717 0606gh@enoughproject.org.

About THE ENOUGH PROJECT
The Enough Project, an atrocity prevention policy group, seeks to build leverage for peace and justice in Africa by helping to create real consequences for the perpetrators and facilitators of genocide and other mass atrocities. Enough aims to counter rights-abusing armed groups and violent kleptocratic regimes that are fueled by grand corruption, transnational crime and terror, and the pillaging and trafficking of minerals, ivory, diamonds, and other natural resources. Enough conducts field research in conflict zones, develops and advocates for policy recommendations, supports social movements in affected countries, and mobilizes public campaigns. Learn more – and join us – at www.EnoughProject.org.

About THE SENTRY
The Sentry seeks to disrupt and dismantle the networks of military officers, government officials, businessmen, arms dealers, bankers, and other enablers who benefit financially and politically from Africa’s deadliest conflicts. Our investigations follow the money from conflict zones and into global economic centers, using open source data collection, field research, document collection, and state-of-the-art network analysis technology. The Sentry provides information and analysis that engages civil society and media, supports regulatory action and prosecutions, and provides policymakers and the private sector with the information they require to take effective action. Co-founded by George Clooney and John Prendergast, The Sentry is an initiative of the Enough Project and Not On Our Watch (NOOW), with its implementing partner C4ADS. Current countries of focus are South Sudan, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, and the Central African Republic. Learn more at TheSentry.org

EU Hosts Brussels Donor Conference on Central African Republic

Date: 
Nov 16, 2016

 

As international community gathers this Thursday, Enough Project urges donors to prioritize fight against illicit financial flows and ending impunity for those who perpetuate violence and steal country’s wealth

Washington, DC: Tomorrow, the European Union in partnership with the Government of the Central African Republic (CAR) will host the Brussels Conference. At the Conference, representatives of the international community will meet to discuss how donors can provide support to CAR and the government of President Faustin Archange Touadéra. 

Enough Project experts are available for comment and analysis.

Brad Brooks-Rubin, Director of Policy at the Enough Project, said: “The Brussels donor conference has an opportunity to change the dynamics of conflict and corruption in CAR, or to perpetuate the status quo while providing humanitarian relief. This is the fifth donor conference in ten years. In order for this effort to be different and achieve lasting results, the international community must balance its attention to the immediate needs of the people with the long-term goals of enabling good governance, rooting out corruption, and eliminating the incentives for armed groups to continue fighting instead of pursuing peace.”

Holly Dranginis, Senior Policy Analyst at the Enough Project, said: “Among many daunting priorities to discuss in Brussels, donors must elevate accountability for serious crimes. Plans for a Special Criminal Court are emerging as a bright spot in CAR's justice landscape. This is an area where international support is sorely needed to support the demands of civil society, who want and deserve to see prosecutions for gross human rights violations and financial crimes like trafficking and money-laundering. The discussions in Brussels, if bold and pragmatic, could lead to new justice models for the entire region.”

Sasha Lezhnev, Associate Director of Policy at the Enough Project, said: " In CAR, the system of violent kleptocracy has been at the heart of a state of permanent war. In this system, competing networks of actors within the government and armed groups, enabled by foreign powers and the business community, are engaged in armed conflict and corruption to protect personal interests. Breaking with a long history of violence means that the international community must change its strategy by ending rampant impunity and fighting against illicit financial flows.”

Read Brooks-Rubin’s op-ed on the conference, published this week in Jeune Afriqueop-ed in French and English translation.

For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact:
Greg Hittelman, Director of Communications, +1 310 717 0606gh@enoughproject.org.

About THE ENOUGH PROJECT
The Enough Project, an atrocity prevention policy group, seeks to build leverage for peace and justice in Africa by helping to create real consequences for the perpetrators and facilitators of genocide and other mass atrocities. Enough aims to counter rights-abusing armed groups and violent kleptocratic regimes that are fueled by grand corruption, transnational crime and terror, and the pillaging and trafficking of minerals, ivory, diamonds, and other natural resources. Enough conducts field research in conflict zones, develops and advocates for policy recommendations, supports social movements in affected countries, and mobilizes public campaigns. Learn more – and join us – at www.EnoughProject.org.

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